January 5, 2019

Course Introduction

Today's Agenda

1. Personal Introduction

2. Course Learning Objectives

3. Course Expectations/Assignments

4. Course Policies

5. Registration/Questions

Personal Introduction

Who is this guy?

Political Scientist (obviously)


  • Political parties and ethnic/sectarian violence (India, Indonesia, Northern Ireland)
  • Causes (and consequences) of changing public perception of lynching in the US
  • War and changing racial boundaries in the US


  • History
  • Rigorous statistical analysis
  • "Big data"

Course Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives: Academic

  • Understand what makes science distinct
  • Identify questions answerable by science
  • Master concepts surrounding problems and solutions to descriptive and causal inference
  • Analyze and evaluate validity of descriptive and causal claims about politics

Learning Objectives: Skills

  • Memorize key concepts and tools used in political science
  • Develop typologies to compare and contrast concepts/ideas

Course Expectations

Your grade

Item Number Fraction of Grade
Course Survey 1 1%
Short Assignments 4 (4*10) 40%
Midterm Exam 1 20%
Final Exam 1 30%
Tutorial Participation 1 9%

Key Dates


\(\bullet\) Online invitation in Week 3

\(\bullet\) 1 point for completion

\(\bullet\) Use answers to illustrate key course concepts

Short Assignments

\(\bullet\) Apply key concepts to your (constrained) choice of current events

\(\bullet\) Available on Canvas on Mondays at 9AM

\(\bullet\) Exactly 1 week to complete/upload to Canvas

\(\bullet\) Will be run through Turnitin

Midterm Exam

\(\bullet\) February 13 in class

\(\bullet\) Covers materials from weeks 2 to 5

\(\bullet\) Review session AND lists of key terms/questions

Final Exam

\(\bullet\) Date TBD

\(\bullet\) Cumulative over entire course, but emphasizes weeks 6 to 14.

\(\bullet\) Review session and key terms/questions


\(\bullet\) TAs

\(\bullet\) Rubrics

\(\bullet\) Validation

\(\bullet\) No "Curve"

What you need to do:

\(\bullet\) Attend lecture:

  • slides not enough

\(\bullet\) Attend Tutorial

\(\bullet\) Read

\(\bullet\) Canvas

What I will do:

\(\bullet\) List of concepts

\(\bullet\) Slides

\(\bullet\) Speed

\(\bullet\) Discussion/Questions

\(\bullet\) Examples

Course Policies

Missed Exam/ Late Assignments:

\(\bullet\) Scheduling Conflict

  • Need to know ASAP to get a concession

\(\bullet\) Arts Advising

  • Penalties unless given offical concession
  • Ask Arts Advising first. Can be granted ex-post, but do it ASAP

\(\bullet\) Lateness

  • non-catastrophic deduction (0.5 points out of 10 per 24 hours)

Grade Appeals:

\(\bullet\) To your TA

\(\bullet\) formal written letter

\(\bullet\) 48 hours waiting period

\(\bullet\) Grades can change \(\Updownarrow\)

Tutorial Attendance:

\(\bullet\) No participation without attendance

\(\bullet\) Make up absences/holidays by attending another Tutorial

  • notify both TAs

\(\bullet\) Excused absences require official concession

  • Each unexcused absence induces \((1/n * 100\%)\) deduction from total tutorial score
  • \(n\) is the number of unexcused tutorial dates


Where we stand:

As of this morning:

237/250; 13 reserved spots, 5 on waitlist